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*From:* Nikki Schwab <xxx@nypost.com>
*Sent:* Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:51 PM
*Subject:* Pool Report No. 12 - Color/Quotes from Josh Holt spray

In the Oval, President Trump welcomed Josh Holt and his wife Thamy to the White House.

"I just want to welcome you to the Oval Office. Welcome you to the White House. It's really special to have you both. You've gone through a lot. You've gone through a lot. A lot more than people can endure," he told the couple.

Thamy was wearing a light blue dress and a white cardigan and was seated with her husband's other family members on the couch. Family members included Josh's parents Laurie and Jason. A little girl was there as well, who was likely Thamy's daughter. Still waiting on White House confirmation and her name.

The president asked Josh's parents to speak.

Laurie thanked the president, the State Department and then the lawmakers. "I've grown to love Sen. Hatch and Mia so much. Not everybody gets to talk to Sen. Hatch and Mia Love and when everything happened last week, Mia was the one that answered her phone and was the one who got things rolling, with Sen. Hatch, to save Josh."

During Laurie's remarks, Rep. Mia Love briefly teared up.

Laurie also thanked President Maduro for letting her son come home.

"I let the pretty face take care of this kind of stuff," Jason, Josh's dad, said when it was his turn to talk, speaking of his wife.

Josh spoke next saying he was "overwhelmed with gratitude." He thanked those in the room for supporting his wife through a "very, very, very difficult two years."

"Not really the great vacation I was looking for. But we're still together."

He thanked the president and lawmakers for helping him out as a "normal person."

Sen. Bob Corker, who traveled to Venezuela yesterday and brought Joshua back with him, called it "quite an experience."

"We were going down the runway and they turned the engine off and turned around. And we still weren't sure we were leaving or not," Corker said.

Trump asked what happened and the senator explained that there was an issue with an instrument on the plane.

"Probably the only time anybody was ever happy that there was a bad instrument on an airplane," Trump said.

Sen. Mike Lee spoke to Thamy and the little girl in Spanish, welcoming them to the U.S. They both replied "gracias" to the senator.

Hatch told President Trump that this is "one of many great things you're doing."

Love told Josh, "Your mom never let us forget about you. She is one of the strongest women I know and we have started a friendship that has been, that started through maybe some heartache and some pain, but we are going to be friends forever because of the bond that we've had."

"So we've had 17 prisoners released during the Trump administration. Most people don't know that," the president said. "And we have others coming. We're in the midst of some very big negotiations to get others out."

President Trump mentioned Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American prisoner in Turkey.

"They say he's a spy but he's not a spy," the president said. "We'll be helping you at some point," POTUS said speaking directly to Brunson.

As per usual, please check quotes against the transcript.

Nikki Schwab

Washington Reporter


724-xxx-xxxx (cell)

Public Pool is an automated feed of White House press pool reports. For live updates, follow @WHPublicPool on Twitter.